State-owned energy producer Kenya Electricity Generating Compnay Plc has set records in clean energy over the past few years.
In March 2020, the Rebecca Miano led parastatal added an additional 165 MegaWatts (MW) to the national grid Olkaria V power project, pushing it up among the world’s big geothermal energy producers.
KenGen plc is looking to add an additional 83.3 megawatts by 2021.
According to the CEO Ms Miano, works on the Olkaria V power plant are at an advanced stage and the company is keen to replace the expansive thermal power with geothermal which is clean and more reliable.
Direct Selling of electricity
With its good record in producing energy, KenGen plans to tap into the market that will be created by Naivasha Indusrial Park, to sell electricity directly to the firms and large industries that will be stationed there.
“The flower firms and large industrial investors would be our first customers if the proposal is approved by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA),” said Cyrus Karingithi, the KenGen assistant manager, resource development and infrastructure.
Currently, Kenya Power Plc, a listed electricity distributor has a monopoly on power sales but the Energy Act 2019 provides for the opening up of the sector.
KenGen is restricted to electricity generation, alongside Independent Power Producers (IPPs).
The firm is healthy financially and analysts believe selling electricity directly would still be a big boost for KenGen’s revenues.
Kenya attracted a record $1.4 billion (Sh145 billion) investments in renewable energy last year, the third highest in Middle East and Africa, deepening its shift from expensive sources of electricity, according to the 2019 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report that tracked global trends in renewable energy investments.
As the country seeks to replace thermal power with geothermal energy, KenGen is at the forefront, ranking 7th globally ahead of Italy. Italy is where the geothermal power was first harnessed.
In 2010, Italy’s steam power capacity stood at 728MW compared to the current 800MW, meaning the European nation has only managed a 9.8 per cent growth over the past decade.
On the other hand, Kenya’s stock of geothermal has expanded four times over a similar period from 198MW in 2010. Kenya’s deepening of geothermal development has put it on track to joining the elite Gigawatt Club of countries with geothermal production of 1,000MW (1GW) and above.
It is the next milestne of reaching 1,000 MW that KenGen Plc is racing towards (now the geothermal production is at 823MW), and with a healthy balance sheet, the firm hands of Rebecca Miano has surely steered the company to great heaights.
KenGen nearly doubled its half-year profit to Sh8.2 billion in the six months period ending December 31, 2019, compared to Sh4.12 billion reported in the similar period of 2018.
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